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Puritas Springs Software

Spousal Support

Spousal Support

Regular price $199.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $199.99 USD
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Last Updated - August 6, 2023

Ohio Spousal Support Calculator Tax

Referred to by the American Bar Association's GP Solo Magazine as the "best software" for family lawyers.

Wrong Answer: We don't need software like that because our court calculates spousal support on its own.

Right Question:  Did you know that there have been recent cases where courts implied that an attorney's failure to "google" certain easily verifiable case facts constituted a failure to exercise due diligence?  Davis v. Department of Justice, 460 F3d 92 (2006). It makes you appreciate the perils of the wrong answer.

In practice, the wrong answer is consistent with a discussion we once had with a family court magistrate who commented that he prefers to see attorneys come to trials and pre-trials prepared to support their client's position on the issue of spousal support. He found the number of attorneys who place their clients at the "mercy of the court" to be remarkable.

You don't need expensive software, expert testimony, or an impractical investment of time to get started putting together an analysis of the marital estate. Ohio Spousal Support Calculator is an inexpensive first step in advocating your client's position and fulfilling your professional obligations.

Humble Beginnings

In the late 1990’s Ohio Spousal Support Calculator was primarily an application that calculated the tax consequences of spousal support payments. Why the limited functionality? One reason is that there were no guidelines for calculating spousal support as there has been, since 1987, for calculating child support. Instead, the spousal support statute required consideration of a dozen or so factors, including the related tax consequences. From this background, family law practitioners told us they needed a tool that did more than analyze tax matters. They wanted a tool for evaluating spousal support that made the calculation as easy as Revised Ohio Child Support Guidelines made child support calculations.

Enter the 2004 Ohio Spousal Support Calculator. We designed it to balance a party’s “spendable” income to arrive at a support amount that approximated income equality after the exchange of support and payment of taxes. In addition to balancing the marital books, it also illustrates the limits of the obligor’s ability to make payments, and the recipient’s ability to meet essential living expenses. That was the genesis of the Ohio Spousal Support Calculator.

What Changed?

In 2014 we introduced our then-new user interface. See some screen illustrations by clicking on this link. We studied the interfaces of industry leaders like Intuit and Microsoft, and emulated those features and functions we thought were the most user-friendly. Input screens no longer try to duplicate their paper counterparts. Instead they are designed to expedite and streamline data entry. The result is immediately apparent in terms of looks, and mouse and keyboard accuracy.

Each year brings a complete update of the tax calculation, and, since 2018, the change in taxability of spousal support has had noteworthy results. Therefore, updates are vital if only because the spousal support statute (RC 3105.18) makes tax consequences a mandatory consideration. For that reason, our Help menu's PDF resources include relevant Internal Revenue Service forms, instructions, and other publications. Note that this function depends on the monitor size and screen resolution of your computer as well as the installation of the appropriate free Adobe Reader or Internet Explorer plug in. Click here for screen illustrations.

Now See This. Another significant addition is the online video help and instructions. We’ve included over two hours of expert advice on program operation and the law. The videos are a great resource. You’ll find the links to the YouTube instructional videos on the Help menu.

ITSE. Previous versions calculated income equalization over a range of spousal support amounts. While this new version still does that same thing, it identifies the point of income equalization with increasing precision. This increased precision is based on all forms of taxable and non-taxable income, the exchange of spousal and child support, and tax consequences, if any. We've also redesigned the Income, Taxes, Support & Expenses (ITSE)  report to make it easier to read and understand. Click here for a partial screen illustration of the ITSE report. Click here for a partial screen illustration of the ITSE report.

If you practice family law, you must try this indispensible companion to our popular child support calculator—the de-facto standard for performing child support calculations used by Courts and Agencies throughout Ohio including Domestic Relations Courts, Juvenile Courts, Probate Courts, Child Support Enforcement Agencies, Departments of Human Services, Departments of Job & Family Services, Prosecutor’s Offices, Appellate Courts, Law Libraries, Law Schools, Paralegal Schools and Universities.

Spousal Support/Alimony

Ohio Revised Code 3105.18(B) lists eleven factors a trial court must consider in determining the amount of spousal support. Following these guidelines, Ohio Spousal Support Calculator suggests a range of spousal support amounts that are not merely the result of a tax analysis or income equalization formula. The calculator does this through a set of reports discussed below. If you'd like to try the calculator for yourself, download the free trial whose link is near the top of this page.

1. Income, Taxes, Support & Expenses

This form contains a side-by-side summary of the parties’ taxable and nontaxable income along with essential and nonessential living expenses. Both before-tax and after-tax information is provided consistent with the currently-set amount of spousal support. We think you’ll find the side-by-side format of this form well-organized and easy to understand. Click here to see a full-size reproduction at page 3.

2. Support v. Lifestyle

This form is a table summarizing the information contained in the Income, Taxes, Support & Expenses form through a range of 30 different values of spousal support. We call it the Lifestyle form because it provides an excellent and instructive comparison of a party’s ability to meet essential and non-essential living expenses at different levels of spousal support. Whether you accept the premise that a person’s spending habits define their lifestyle, you’ll find this form to be one of the calculator’s most informative reports.

3. Report—Statutory Considerations

You must see this report to appreciate it. Composed in a style that is more akin to a well-reasoned legal brief than an accounting spreadsheet, it begins by calculating the difference between the parties’ respective total incomes. Then, the calculator adjusts income for the payment of federal, state, and local income taxes. In that way, the calculator achieves a more realistic starting point for evaluating and comparing after-tax income and each party’s ability to meet their personal and living expenses.

The purpose is to determine the extent to which a party can meet living expenses at various levels of spousal support. While distinguishing between essential and nonessential living expenses may seem arbitrary, it’s helpful to know into which category they fall. This is especially true in cases where spendable income doesn’t meet living expenses. Because the division of the family unit necessarily involves supporting two households on the same income that previously supported one, categorizing expenses as essential or nonessential takes on increased importance.

Ohio Spousal Support Calculator doesn’t stop there, however. It makes additional observations about each of the Revised Code’s statutory considerations. It also compares each party’s income to the per capita income for that party’s county of residence based on information compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

If you’d like to see a sample of this form, you can visit the Demos & Downloads page of our web site, scroll to Spousal Support Calculator and click on the PDF link captioned "Sample Report."

4. Set Spousal Support

Once Ohio Spousal Support Calculator evaluates the ability of the parties to pay their expenses, it recommends spousal support that seeks after-tax equality. In any real-life situation, however, there are innumerable factors that may impact the calculation. This form lets you deviate from any formulas or algorithms and set an amount of your choosing. In that way, you're in control of the calculation when you need to be.

Child Support

Until now, we’ve been focusing on spousal support, but don’t forget, Ohio Spousal Support Calculator also calculates child support. For more information about the child support calculator, see the product information page for Revised Ohio Child Support Guidelines.

Tax Issues

Even though the payment and receipt of spousal support have no tax consequences, tax calculations are still crucial for determining a party’s spendable income. The calculator does more than give you the after-tax figures, however. From the Tax Issues section, you can view or print a breakdown of tax information related to who should claim the dependents and how it affects the parties. When it’s best to split the dependency exemptions, Ohio Spousal Support Calculator lets you know in this section. If you’re questioning the value of this information in light of the IRS doing away with the dependency exemption, keep in mind that dependents are critical for determining eligibility for filing status, the child tax credit, the child care credit, the earned income credit and more.

Finally, Ohio Spousal Support Calculator prints side-by-side tax returns for both parties so you don’t need to accept figures blindly but can review the calculations every step of the way. We think it’s an indispensable tool, and you will too.

In Conclusion

If you represent clients in cases involving spousal support, you’ll find Ohio Spousal Support Calculator an indispensable tool. Note that you can export each form and report to your word processor for quick and easy inclusion in pleadings, briefs, and the like. And we're only touching the tip of the iceberg. To see and appreciate all that Ohio Spousal Support Calculator can do, view our YouTube demonstration videos linked at the top of this page.

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